Computer attacks, data breaches and cases of identity theft are a by-product of the information age. Here are some tips about how to protect your accounts and passwords:
• The basics: A strong password is at least seven characters long, has a combination of letters, numbers and symbols, and the same password shouldn’t be used for all of your online activities.
• Words and acronyms work: If you don't want to use a combination of letters, numbers and symbols, at least keep in mind single word passwords are easier to break than multiple word passwords. Instead of "monkey," use something like "orangemonkey" or "bigmonkeyface."
• Manage multiple passwords: Come up with a system to better remember each of them, such as adding a relevant letter to the front, middle or end of the password — "b" for banking, "s" for shopping, "f" for Facebook or "d" for an online dating site.
• Change it up: Every so often, change passwords. The longer you keep the same password, the greater the chance someone could guess it, share it and use the information against you. Don’t share your password.
• A step ahead: Google offers a two-step authentication process, which serves as an extra security measure to protect your online accounts from being compromised. Many other companies are using two-step authentication, as well.
• Public Enemy No. 1: If you're using a public computer such as a shared PC at a library, café or airport lounge — be sure not to do private things (such as online banking). Use the mouse on an onscreen keyboard offered by Windows if you must enter a password.
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